Find out what is being said about the Dulwich Picture Gallery’s new exhibition with our review round up….

Berthe Morisot, Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight 1885 © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.

The Observer: *** “Perhaps character is destiny, in art as in life. It would be hard to think of an impressionist with a more evanescent and shifting technique, more absorbingly strange and indeterminate surfaces, into which you look as if seeking clues to the ever-changing movements of a mind. Morisot never settles into a trademark look, a fixed and recognisable style. She is nothing like the men.”

The FT: “It’s a wonderfully sympathetic, intelligent, enlightening show, placing Morisot at the heart of French painting while allowing her individuality to shine.”

Evening Standard: **** “Dulwich Picture Gallery is the perfect setting for this exhibition: step outside and you’re looking at Gainsboroughs and Reynolds that Morisot may conceivably have seen, and it has, of course, exquisite 18th century pictures. An excellent show in an excellent place: what more can we ask for.”

The Arts Desk: *** “Rather than confirming her place in art history, these juxtapositions give the impression that Morisot’s work can’t stand alone, but needs to be bolstered by the addition of male forerunners. Given that she was unbelievably prolific – she produced some 860 paintings before her untimely death at the age of 56 – this implication is frankly preposterous.”

iNews: ***** “A fleet and experimental painter, Morisot put out variable work – nonetheless there are some zingers here. Woman at her Toilette (1875-80) is a foam of silver tones, with the figure’s turning head captured in a feathering of the brush. A late portrait of her niece, Paule Gobillard Painting (1887) is a study in two rhythms – the young woman’s face and torso are tightly rendered, while a blur of motion suggests her hand moving rapidly between canvas and palette. Girl on a Divan (1885) is, for want of a better term, a masterpiece.”

Time Out: **** “This show’s main aim is to explore how the nineteenth century influenced Morisot’s art, how she was caught between tradition and modernity. So her work is shown alongside paintings by Antoine Watteau, Joshua Reynolds and Fragonard. Her reclining woman apes Boucher’s ‘Madame de Pompadour’, her pastel of a young girl hangs next to a pastel by Jean-Baptiste Perronneau. It’s all interesting art historically, but totally unnecessary. Morisot is so rarely exhibited and celebrated that to pad the show out with all these works by older deader men just distracts from the main draw.”

The Telegraph: ***** “Dulwich Picture Gallery’s celebration of this unjustly neglected painter is impeccable – and raises intriguing questions.”

Culture Whisper: ***** “London gallery goers may be spoiled for Impressionist exhibitions, with seemingly one popping up every couple of years. While most of these shows offer great works they very rarely offer us anything fresh and new. Here’s a show that does both and gives Morisot the recognition she thoroughly deserves.”

Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism is on display at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until the 10th September.


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